Are You A Sugar Addict?

The effect of sugar on our bodies is anything but sweet.

Sugar looks a lot like cocaine and acts a lot like heroin when it interacts with our brains. But is it really addictive – and if so, what can you do to overcome it?

I just finished reading an email from an obese 19 year-old boy who is unable to control his sweet tooth. He claims that even after exercising, he craves sugar and inevitably binges on the sweet stuff.

He’s not alone. Sugar is a huge contributor to America’s obesity and health problems. Sugar consumption has been linked to everything from heart disease to diabetes to cardiovascular disease and liver disease. Moreover, sugar is flushed with empty calories, meaning they are devoid of nutritional content.

In the last few years, research has been done to illustrative sugar’s addictive qualities. In 2009, a study titled Sugar and Fat Bingeing Have Notable Differences in Addictive-Like Behavior concluded that sugar bingeing causes withdrawal symptoms and cravings much like addictive drugs.

So… are you addicted? You may be addicted to sugar if:

  • When you don’t get your daily dose of sugar, you become cranky or irritable.
  • You are unable to cut down on eating sweet foods.
  • You have had a “sugar hangover”.

But fear not: Sugar addiction can be overcome. If you are looking to cut down on sugar, it’s recommended that you eat foods that are low on the glycemic index. These foods are digested slowly, and they help keep blood sugar levels stable. Surround yourself with support, and forgive yourself if you fall down or “cheat”. Get up, and keep at it.

When modifying a diet, I always recommend focusing on those delicious things that you can eat rather than what you can’t. Instead of operating from a place of weakness and deficit, you can come from a place of abundance and power. Instead of focusing on Skittles and cupcakes (and inevitably developing a craving), think about all the wonderful foods you are able to eat.

And if you aren’t addicted to sugar, use this knowledge as a cautionary tale. Keep your sugar consumption to a minimum, and do your best to get it from natural, unprocessed sources.

Are you or someone you know addicted to sugar? Tell me about it in the comments below.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.

Comments

  1. I’m so addicted to sugar. Incredibly addicted to sugar.
    I’m a vegan so you’d think I’d be healthy but I can’t get off the sweet stuff no matter how hard I try. I wake up with killer headaches that only something REALLY sweet can hit. Not only that the more sweet food I eat the more my ability to eat vegetables diminishes. They just start to taste bad.
    I wish I had a cure…

    • Joel Bauza says:

      I feel like sugars, whether simple monosaccharides like glucose and fructose, or polysaccharides, like amylose, are all important circumstantially. I agree that processed foods should be limited if alternatives are available to avoid a glucose spike in the blood. But, if you’re in a position to need highly movable monosaccharides, like a marathon run, you should seek a healthy mix of monosaccharides to di/polysaccharides.

      All things in moderation, my friend! 😀

  2. thanks for the info ill try the website once in a while and see if there are changes

  3. Several months ago, I stopped adding sugar to my drinks, and refrained from eating candy. I’ve also substantially reduced my intake of alcohol which also has a lot of empty calories.

    I was able to drop about 4 or 5 pounds just by doing that. But, getting rid of the remaining excess 4% body fat has been really hard. I understand that a person my age and stature should have body fat percentage between 22.5% – 27%. Currently I’m within that range, but I’d prefer being closer to the bottom of that range, so I’m working out and being concious about what I eat and drink.

    It will really be SWEET when I finally am enjoying the body state I intend to have.

  4. I’d like to chime in and say that all sugar is NOT 100% evil, but the unnatural refined sugars, like HFCS and regular white sugar, is the main issue at hand. As babies, our mother’s milk was really sweet, so we learned that sweet is good. Which is why a lot of healthy foods have natural sugar compounds in them. The problem is that HCFS and regular white sugar is much sweeter than it needs to be, so our bodies crave more sweet. Apples and grapes and oranges just are not as sweet as HFCS, which is where the addiction to refined sugar creates the problems.

  5. I can be good all day, no problem, but somehow I just gotta have some sweet after dinner. It is an addiction, but at least it ain’t meth.

  6. You nailed it, Davey. And, at least for me, the sugar held only part of the solution, as it was coupled to gluten addiction. Once I went sugar and wheat free, the cravings stopped. Food now is still good and enjoyable, but no longer pathologically attractive. Eating normally for the first time since childhood!

  7. Hi Davey,

    It appears that sugar may be FAR more insidious than you mention above.
    See this recent article in the NYT Magazine about sugars literally toxic effects on the body…. really scary stuff

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?_r=4&pagewanted=all

  8. could it be possible that an addiction to sugar is inherited…no one in my family likes sweets…not even my 2 year old niece…we never really have had a dependency on it…just wondering

  9. Apparently if sugar (from cane) were introduced today, the FDA would never have approved it – it’s as addictive as cocaine and processed by the body as a toxin. Stick to natural sweetners!

  10. christopher says:

    i took meds to control type-2 diabetes-i lost weight-doctor took me off Avandamet.im doing well-because im excercising-keeping the weight off-and do not consume any added sugar-no candy-sugar in my coffee/tea-no ice cream-only small amounts in fruit etc etc.

  11. I’m not addicted to sugar but the issue is I’m a 16 year old living in the same home with loving parents. I’m also an only child – wonderful…

    Sugar Galore!

    Well, it’s only just over a year before I move out

  12. sebaaaaastian says:

    im 15, and i used to be seriously addicted to sugar (like majorly) it got so bad that i would put several HANDFULS of sugar in my cereal.i would have “sugar sandwhiches” when i got home from school, because i didnt have any sugar at school. then, when we were in biology, and the teacher was talking about addictions, and that some people are addicted to sugar, and that is when i “realised” that i was addicted. (i used to make the excuse i “used” all the sugar that i ate because i jogged around the block) then i cut down sugar, and found out that i became much more sensitive to sugar, and that i would feel sick if i had too much sugar…now i feel great :p 😀 yay to healthiness!

    • sebaaaaastian says:

      also, i am an athlete, so it started when i went to a big event, and i hadn’t eaten at all…so when i got home, i was exhausted, and so i had a glass of milk and a handful of sugar. i really enjoyed it, and that is when it started…(i actually became sluggish from the sugar -although not fat for some reason…i never got fat :D- and i lost my space on the team) and now im back on the team :p

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